5 Ways to Do the ‘Predator’ Sequel Right

Published 4 weeks ago by

Predator Reboot Header 5 Ways to Do the Predator Sequel Right

Adaptations are the craze in Hollywood lately and if a studio isn’t developing a big budget comic book movie like The Avengers: Age of Ultron or Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, then they are looking for preexisting properties that are ripe for some reinvigoration. Just next year, we’ll get Jurassic World, Terminator: Genesis, and Star Wars: Episode VII trying to prove that the old can be new again.

Now, we can add another project to that ever-expanding list - since it has been announced that Iron Man 3 director Shane Black will helm a reboot of the classic sci-fi franchise Predator for Fox. The 1987 original starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was one of the biggest hits the year it came out and has earned its place among the most highly regarded action films of its era. So it shouldn’t come as a shock that some Predator fans are rolling their eyes at the prospect of another entry in the series – regardless of how much they love the world.

While we have to sympathize with the plight of these viewers, it’s important to keep in mind that not all modern sequels (and reboots) are awful. In some instances, they can provide rewarding cinematic experiences that can satisfy old fans and bring in new ones. In the hopes that the Predator reimagining can fit in that category, we have compiled a list of ways to do the Predator sequel “right.” As is the case with our Star Wars spinoffs game plan, this is all subjective, but most will probably agree that these steps could result in an entertaining movie.

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Go for the Hard ‘R’

Predator Reboot Violence 5 Ways to Do the Predator Sequel Right

These days, studios look to tailor their major tentpoles for maximum profitability. This means that they wish to bring in the widest audience possible. Thanks to the invention of the PG-13 rating, executives now have a target that they look to hit whenever commissioning a summer film. It gives off the impression that the movie isn’t exactly family friendly (drawing in older teens) while ensuring the festivities aren’t too extreme for youngster’s eyes.

Unfortunately, the PG-13 revolution has led to a series of homogenized action films (think: the Total Recall remake) that leave moviegoers more frustrated than anything. One of the most appealing aspects of 1980s action movies – particularly Predator – was that most of them embraced the R rating to deliver fans a full-blown experience. Watching the original, it’s hard not to get swept up in the gruesome killings, ultra-violence, and foul language that helped carve a place for it in movie history. The belief that R-rated films don’t make money is a myth (look at the Jump Street movies for proof), and there’s a large portion of audiences that would flock to an adult-oriented action film.

As a cast member from the first film, Black should know what made it so appealing to viewers and look to give them something similar.

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Get a Stellar Cast

ballers gets series order 5 Ways to Do the Predator Sequel Right

With action icons like Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers at the front of the ensemble, the cast assembled by director John McTiernan for Predator was one of the film’s strongest points. Having their own personalities, each member of Dutch’s team stood out and all have a memorable scene – or characteristic. Whether it’s Hawkins (Black) telling jokes, Mac (Bill Duke) shaving a beard that isn’t there, or Blaine (Jesse Ventura) refusing to have time for bleeding, the actors involved tried to craft characters that felt like real people. This helped get the audience involved, as they became emotionally invested in the protagonists – and not just waiting for some creature action.

For the sequel to have any shot at being relevant for viewers, Black is going to have to put together one great collection of modern action stars (or at the very least diverse acting talent) as the main way of generating interest. It will be impossible to top Schwarzenegger’s Dutch, but we would sign up for a cast that’s headlined by The Rock, with fan-favorites such as Jason Statham, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, and Chris Pratt (among others) flanking him. Part of what made Predator work was the presence of no-nonsense soldiers that oozed testosterone and masculinity, traits that our suggestions have all showcased before.

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Keep It Simple

Predator vs. Arnold 5 Ways to Do the Predator Sequel Right

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, you could make a hit film with a relatively straightforward concept. Questions like “what if a shark attacked a beach,” “what if an alien was loose on a ship,” and “what if you could go to high school with your parents” are the basis for just a few of the most legendary films of that time period. There wasn’t any need for a convoluted back-story or countless subplots. Directors just sold audiences on an intriguing high concept and let viewers have fun.

Nowadays, just about every summer blockbuster (mainly those in the sci-fi and superhero genres) has increasingly higher and higher stakes. If the fate of the entire universe doesn’t depend on the hero getting the job done, it’s not worth green lighting in the eyes of many executives. However, this has led to many movies regurgitating similar ideas - with viewers experiencing déjà vu all over again each time they visit the multiplex. There’s something alluring about an action movie that’s a tad scaled back and intimate, where the only things at risk are the lives of the main characters. Since it’s not the norm anymore, films that do this feel fresher and stand out more than yet another apocalyptic offering.

Black should keep the proceedings as simple as possible. Drop a cast of the best action stars in the middle of an isolated locale and have them go to war with a monster. Not only will this be in the spirit of the original, the single setting should make the adventure more claustrophobic and immediate.

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Embrace Other Genres

Predator Reboot Arnold Mud 5 Ways to Do the Predator Sequel Right

Most modern action movies take the “action” label to heart and go balls-to-the-wall non-stop for two hours or more. The new technologies available to filmmakers have allowed them to create visually-impressive sequences, but the endless barrage of CGI and special effects can wear thin on some viewers – and is one of the most common complaints about big films today. Contrast that with the blockbusters of yesteryear, where the limitations were used to the filmmaker’s advantage in crafting different kinds of thrills.

Where something like Alien vs. Predator: Requiem was all violence with little-to-no build-up, classics such as Jaws, Alien, Jurassic Park, and – yes – Predator succeeded due to the fact that they blended elements of horror into the proceedings and built up anticipation within the audience. Scenes like “raptors in the kitchen” and Ripley’s showdown in the shuttle are more memorable than a majority of the action sequences today (despite decades of evolution) thanks to their use of practical effects and slow-burn techniques.

Even though Predator is largely a macho action film, it is a little deeper than most give it credit for. Using the team of soldiers as a springboard, McTiernan tackled themes such as honor among warriors and loyalty to comrades – aspects you would expect in an Oscar-winning war drama, not a Schwarzenegger romp. It would be wise if the reboot’s script tried to accomplish this as well, so it could offer moviegoers something with a little more thought.

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Don’t Recreate Classic Imagery

Predator Reboot Handshake 5 Ways to Do the Predator Sequel Right

Dutch and Dillon’s handshake. “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” “GET TO DA CHOPPA!” Dutch’s primal battle cry before the finale. The original Predator is full of iconic images and moments that have gone on to become part of cinema history. A fear of many is that this sequel is a shameless, cynical cash grab, so to combat this, Black would be wise to stray away from the little things that made the first film so special.

Nobody will accomplish anything by trying to rehash the parts in the above paragraph and repackage them for a new generation. Since this is a sequel, the filmmakers should try to create something new that stands on its own merits and doesn’t rely fully on nostalgia to get by. Small callbacks or little Easter eggs would be in good faith, but Black should have a firm grasp on how beloved Predator is and understand he has nothing to gain from remaking the film scene-for-scene, beat-for-beat. He’s got to justify its existence by taking an old brand and giving us something fresh – not something we’ve already seen.

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Conclusion

Predator Reboot Shane Black 5 Ways to Do the Predator Sequel Right

Of course, these are just the steps we would take to ensure the new Predator film can be as good as humanly possible. Our list is not meant to be all-inclusive. Be sure to let us know what you would do if you were in charge of guiding the follow-up to the big screen (besides canceling the project).

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The Predator sequel is currently in development and does not have a release date.

Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.

TAGS: predator

97 Comments

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  1. Shane Black has a few options here: 1)He could pick up from where the 2010 movie left off. 2)Adapt the Concrete Jungle/Cold War storylines, with The Rock in the lead. 3)Set the film in either Iraq or Afghanistan, with The Rock leading a team of soldiers to find out what happened to a U.S. military installation there. More importantly, don’t overdo it in the script with humor. To me, that’s what hurt Iron Man 3.

    • i think he said its gonna be an inventive sequel to the original version…but i do agree with you on the options. but about Iron Man 3 people may criticize it but i thought it was awesome and it made 1.2 billion so you cant really say thats what hurt iron man 3 and tony stark always had that type of humor ever since RDJ took the role..i thought there was too much humor in the avengers more than iron man 3 cuz its just tony whos funny in IM3

    • Your ideas are not good.. ;/
      1) The Rock should not star in this film.
      2) No Middle East LZ or story line.

  2. One thing it should include from the original film….Long Tall Sally. Gotta throw that classic in there somewhere. Have it playing on a radio in the background in some scene.

  3. I would like a Jim Hopper backstory. http://starsmedia.ign.com/stars/image/article/944/944230/jim-hopper-predator-20090112043844326-000.jpg The Rock or Jason Stateham? No thank you!

    • Now that is the best idea I have heard on this movie.

    • Excellent idea. Shane has got to hear that!

    • Chalk up one negative vote. I already know what happened to Hopper, so there’s very little suspense involved in telling me his back story. This is why I have an aversion to prequels; why tell me the story when I already know how it ends? It’s not that it couldn’t possibly be made into an entertaining film, but you’d saddle it with a degree of difficulty and the obligation stick to the conventions of the original film. Not appealing at all.

      None of the post-Arnie Predator films are good enough to build on. Just start over from scratch and tell a good story with the same skeletal plot. The more similar it ends up to the original the more likely it’s going pale in comparison.

  4. Dutch and Dillon’s handshake. “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” “GET TO DA CHOPPA!” Dutch’s primal battle cry before the finale. The original Predator is full of iconic images and moments that have gone on to become part of cinema history. A fear of many is that this sequel is a shameless, cynical cash grab, so to combat this, Black would be wise to stray away from the little things that made the first film so special.

    This was one of the primary reasons why I hated Star Trek 2. They took the most poignant scene from THE best Star Trek movie (ST:WoK) to date and **** all over it by trying to be clever and “reworking” it in a reversal. It failed and all I could do was audibly groan when I saw it on screen.

    But I digress…..no matter how they try to do this it will most likely fail like the vast majority of remakes. I will not support this movie just like i didn’t support the abysmal Total Recall remake, Fright Night, Conan the Barbarian, Red Dawn, Footloose, etc. I reward originality, not rehashed/reinvented/reboots.

    • It is even more lame because the whole event had no weight, Kirk was not going to be dead when teh credits rolled. We all knew that. In the original they KILLED Spock he was dead and still is, his current body is like a clone with his katra implanted. In the new movie it was a pointless “Nod” that was in poor form.

    • Agreed. I can’t believe that neither Abrams nor his collaborators didn’t see that was a mistake when the were shooting it. QUIT OVERTLY REMINDING ME OF PREVIOUS MOVIES!! It’s a crutch! I’m praying we don’t get this crap in Star Wars.

  5. Only way this will work is if they send Arnold’s consciousness back in time to the 70s to warn him about this remake and make sure it never happens.

  6. Why is there no mention of Predator 2?? I thought it was a great movie and pretty much stayed true to the basic story line without a lot of fluff. It was a lil campy or corny at some points, but overall, it was a good flick.

  7. I’m happy to hear that it is a sequel or prequel and not a reboot. I don’t think it needs an all star cast. Maybe Tom Hardy would be a good fit. I like the idea of setting the film in the past. Maybe Vietnam would be cool, but that might be too similar to the first film. I like the idea though because you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to make it a good film.

  8. I agree, Shane Black should get into the spirit of the thing (and really, what director could be better for this particular project?!?), without rehashing the catch phrases and beats of the original. The list above is great, hope someone gets it (or similar good advice) to Mr. Black.

    As far as actual story content… I’m on the fence. Part of me feels like I’d be happy to see a sequel based on any film Predator 1,2 or 3. Though I could go for a new environment (Predator 2 style), I’m not opposed to one more romp through the jungle if it were a follow up to Predators featuring those survivors and Dutch.. (Conan and Dutch are prime for Schwarzenegger, he can still be great in those roles, AND unlike Terminator there’s no need to explain why he’s aged! :P )

  9. Hate to burst your bubble but the second one was a better movie. Thats were the sequel is.

    • Now that’s just crazy talk. I didn’t think it was possible for a sentient being to believe Predator 2 was better than the original. While you have opened my eyes to the infinite ability humans have to be utterly, completely, unfathomably wrong, my bubble remains unburst.

  10. here’s an idea: to tie in Predator,Predators,Predator 2..Bring back Adrien Brody,have him escape the planet on a Predator ship,steals a Predator suit,gets dropped off on another planet by accident with other Predators and other Hunter style species for a huge hunt-turns out its an Alien planet..he somehow wins the hunt,but must fight the leader of the hunt-turns out its Arnold,in Predator gear as well…

  11. I would love Schwarzenegger to be involved in some way. Perhaps he’s the head of a top military task force tracking these aliens, who supports or comes in midway to help the team of soldiers or is the person who sends teams of soldiers to parts around the world combating these predators. I can buy that more so than an aging terminator.

  12. the movie must have Bill paxton in it somewhere. I agree with using the concrete jungle/Cold war comic storylines as a sequel.

  13. I would like to see all manifestations of the PREDATOR series converge to clarify the overall movie mythos that has been shown on film. It has been revealed that the Predator aliens A)Have been visiting Earth as our history unfolded, or B)Are time travelers who can choose WHEN they visit our planet. The only way to make sense of the Predator VS. Alien movies would be the time travel angle, as according to the ALIEN film PROMETHEUS, it is in humanity’s future that the ALIEN first comes into being. Time traveling Predators would have to populate the PAST with ALIENs for the AVP movies to make sense as they take place in what we would call contemporary times as viewers. This is a cool idea in my opinion. And to pay homage to Robert Rodriguez’s PREDATORS, but not have the original (favored) Predator alien weighed down by his concept of SUPER PREDATORS who hunt the classic hunters, we could see larger Predator aliens in backdrops or as extras in larger scenes but not use them as a central plot device. Mostly I think it would be cool to see a Predator or multiple classic Predators in earthly war environments as implied by the movie PREDATOR (Iraq or Afghanistan). It would also be awesome to see a more in depth look at the Predator homeworld glimpsed in AVP2. More amazing yet would be a look at Predator aliens hunting in PREHISTORIC Earth. Think PREDATOR meets JURASSIC PARK. Now were talking!

  14. Why not show the story from the Predators’ perspective ?
    A group of “safari hunter” comes to earth on what should be an easy hunt and find themselves struggling against humans who refuse to die and slowly decimate them… A la Jon Voight/ Burt Reynolds Deliverance…

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